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One Among Many: STEM-work as a Basis for Citizenship Herb Childress Boston Architectural College.

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Presentation on theme: "One Among Many: STEM-work as a Basis for Citizenship Herb Childress Boston Architectural College."— Presentation transcript:

1 One Among Many: STEM-work as a Basis for Citizenship Herb Childress Boston Architectural College

2 Citizenship The condition of voluntarily taking responsibility for, and action on behalf of, a community to which you belong

3 Average atmospheric temperature rise 2-4°C Sea levels rising River systems salinated further upstream Ocean storms more severe and more expansive Interior deserts drier and larger Problem 1

4 How are we going to design for a billion climate refugees? Problem 1

5 Every year, the building I work in consumes: 7,500,000,000 BTU source energy (3 rail cars of coal) 1,100,000 gallons of water 3,000 lbs of mail 100,000 square feet of cardboard 70 computers 1,500 pizzas Problem 2

6 What are we going to do with all that waste? From ONE BUILDING? Problem 2

7 That building is obsolete. Replacing it would provide 60+% energy savings $8M in construction wages BUT it would consume 9,000 CY concrete (maybe Massachusetts, maybe Korea) 15 miles of copper wire (mined in Chile) 1,400 tons of rebar (from China or Russia) mining, finishing, shipping, labor, health, human rights… Problem 3

8 How should we think about sustainable design when we dont understand the inputs? Problem 3

9 Problem 1 – Climate Refugees Problem 2 – Waste Management Problem 3 – Inputs to Sustainable Design These are not merely complicated problems…

10 Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. Laurence Peter Wicked Problems

11 have DEFINITIONAL CHARACTERISTICS: Cant be fully defined, or even described Can be stated as symptoms of other problems Diagnosis depends on the definition Changes while we wait

12 Wicked Problems have OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS: No fixed body of operations or actions Each iteration is unique, limits knowledge carryover Cant be solved by subdivision into parts No meaningful way to practice

13 Wicked Problems have OUTCOME CHARACTERISTICS: No right answers, though some are better No immediate or ultimate test of solutions No stopping rule

14 Wicked Problems have ETHICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Has to be solved by those who made it Harm is done while we wait Inaction is a choice among actions We have no right to be wrong

15 American suburbs were built for 1950s conditions: Cheap fuel and cheap cars An army of stay-at-home mothers Huge government investment in infrastructure Huge government housing subsidies Development policies that devoured farm and wild lands Those conditions no longer exist. Problem 4

16 Can we intensify existing suburban forms? How do you infill wide roads, acres of parking, and vast (and expedient) single-story buildings? Problem 4

17 The Abandonment of Industrial America These cities have smaller and poorer populations, which means their tax bases are shot… but the same amount of roads to pave and plow, sewers and water mains to maintain, land area to protect with police and fire service. Problem 5 CityPeak population2010 populationChange Detroit 1,849,600713, % Saginaw 98,30055, % Flint 196,000111, % Youngstown 168,30072, % Toledo 383,800316, % Gary 178,30080, %

18 Can we physically shrink an existing city? Or evacuate it altogether? Problem 5

19 At any given moment, about 3,500,000 Americans are homeless, temporarily or permanently. In 2011, 7,500,000 American houses and 2,000,000 commercial buildings were vacant or abandoned. Problem 6

20 Is squatting a civil right? Problem 6

21 Problem 1 – Climate Refugees Problem 2 – Waste Management Problem 3 – Inputs to Sustainable Design Problem 4 – Suburban Densification Problem 5 – Urban Depopulation Problem 6 – Homelessness and Vacancy

22 Leadership The characteristic of naming oneself as implicated and responsible for resolving a problem, even while knowing our own incapacity and unworthiness

23 Where do leaders come from? Manipulative self-interest How can I frame this problem in a way that makes it clear that I should be given power or money to solve it?

24 Where do leaders come from? Manipulative self-interest Well, nobody else is doing anything, and its not going to fix itself… I guess Id better get started. Humility and reluctance

25 Where do leaders come from? Manipulative self-interest You know whod be GREAT to help us out with this… Humility and reluctance Recruitment & appointment

26 Where do leaders come from? Manipulative self-interest Being prepared to say yes when opportunity arises Humility and reluctance Recruitment & appointment

27 Preparing for Serendipity? How can we prepare our students to be prepared to say yes to a broader array of diverse problems?

28 Start with the Curriculum

29 …which wont be easy

30 Boston Architectural College Bachelor of Design Studies Design Studios Design Media Technology & Systems History, Theory & Criticism Liberal Education Professional Practice

31 Boston Architectural College Bachelor of Design Studies Design Studios Design Media Technology & Systems History, Theory & Criticism Liberal Education Professional Practice

32 Boston Architectural College Bachelor of Design Studies Design Studios Design Media Technology & Systems History, Theory & Criticism Liberal Education Professional Practice Deliberative Judgment Leaders Instrumental Expertise Employees

33 Engineering student: Why would anybody want to learn the things we know enough not to do anymore? Architecture student: I really love my architectural history courses. Do you have engineering history courses in your program?

34 Boston University BA in Math & Computer Science Liberal Education Math Computer Science

35 University of Massachusetts BS in Chemistry Liberal Education Chemistry Math Physics

36 University of Illinois BS in Civil Engineering Liberal Education Chemistry Math Physics Engineering

37 Capital is global Design education is global Design firms are global Design materials are global Design software is global Design practices are global Problem 7 Buildings are not. Buildings have fixed locations.

38 Does anything local matter? Should a building in Dubuque be different than a building in Dubai? On what basis, and by what criteria? Problem 7

39 Problem 8 With the advent of micro- and nano-technology and high- volume data storage, sensors and building management systems have negligible cost. We can measure: Temperatures Fluid and air flow rates Fluid and air pressure Hours of mechanical system operation Number of door cycles RFID and swipe-card motion trackers Keystroke monitors

40 Problem 8 If you could put a hundred thousand sensors into a building, what would you want to measure? And what would you do with that information?

41 Problem 9 The average metropolitan dweller is photographed or filmed about 300 times a day: On the street In the park In the store On the job On transportation

42 Problem 9 What are the design goals for privacy? To protect it? Or to eliminate it?

43 Problem 1 – Climate Refugees Problem 2 – Waste Management Problem 3 – Inputs to Sustainable Design Problem 4 – Suburban Densification Problem 5 – Urban Depopulation Problem 6 – Homelessness and Vacancy Problem 7 – Global and Local Problem 8 – Building Data Collection Problem 9 – Environmental Privacy

44 Curricular Resolution Lite: the Special Topics course

45 Curricular Resolution Lite: the Special Topics course Example: the Architectural Geology of Boston

46 Most of what we think of as Boston is actually filled rivers and bay.

47 The High Spine Highrises on the Necks Bedrock Geology Urban Planning

48 The Back Bay Gravel fill in the Charles River Neighborhood created

49 With no accessible bedrock, the Back Bay is smaller buildings constructed on wooden friction pilings.

50 Changes in construction and stormwater runoff engineering have reduced the water table. All these pilings are at risk.

51 BACs Green Alley (a pilot project for Boston more broadly) Permeable paving allows storm water to re-enter ground water Planted wall reduces rate of downflow

52 Professor Geo has the geological knowledge. Professor Arch has the architectural history knowledge.

53 Professor Geo has the geological knowledge. Professor Arch has the architectural history knowledge. Co-teaching

54 Professor Geo has the geological knowledge. Professor Arch has the architectural history knowledge. Co-teaching… But they each only get 1.5 load credits

55 Professor Geo has the geological knowledge. Professor Arch has the architectural history knowledge. Geology 279 – Special Topics in Geology: The Architectural Geology of Boston Arch 279 – Special Topics in Architecture: The Architectural Geology of Boston T-Th 10:40-11:55 AM, 412 Kostof Hall

56 Undergraduate Research Seeing science as uncertainty

57 Undergraduate Research Seeing science as uncertainty Guest Speakers Science policy, science entrepreneurship

58 Collaboration A way of organizing work that acknowledges collective responsibility for a singular condition

59 Collaboration Hierarchy Collaboration Division of Labor Collaboration Lone Genius Collaboration Committee

60 In collaborative work, every participant is responsible for the quality of every element.

61 In collaborative work, every participant is responsible for the quality of every element. In collaborative work, every participant is responsible for helping to define the problem.

62 Boston Architectural College Design Studios Design Media Technology & Systems History, Theory & Criticism Liberal Education Professional Practice 5,000 hours of practice, in 16 competency areas (about 3 years of work) Real paid employment, at real entry-professional rates (about $20-25 hour) About 2/3 of our students at work

63 National loss of ¼ of all design employment …after a decade of automation that reduced entry-level opportunities

64 GATEWAY PROJECTS Increased community design studios from one section to several Relocated service projects into Practice department Vast recruitment of community clients and design supervisors

65 GATEWAY PROJECTS Students get greater responsibility earlier Advanced students get managerial experience Community partners get valuable design service Design firms get projects that can be financed

66 Practice President Foundation Financial Aid Landscape Architecture Design Studies Interior Design Architecture Registrar Institutional Advancement Assessment Information Technology Whole-College Collaboration

67 A faculty member in Geography and Earth Sciences, working with students to conduct economic analyses for: Delivery systems County and city governments Tourism and economic development boards Julio Carthage College, Kenosha WI

68 Provost Rivera A campus leader fostering a culture of academic engagement with the regional community. Carthage College, Kenosha WI

69 Velocity Consulting Carthage College, Kenosha WI

70 Velocity Consulting Class of 2013 Finance and Economics Major Spanish Minor Aleksandra Romanovic, CEO

71 Velocity Consulting 9 Finance 8 Marketing 6 Accounting 3 Economics 3 Management 2 Advertising 2 Computer Science 1 Public Relations/Communications 1 International Political Economy 1 Chinese 1 Mathematics 1 Education 1 Asian Studies 25 students – 39 majors Double-majoring as a form of leadership preparation

72 Velocity Consulting 9 Finance 8 Marketing 6 Accounting 3 Economics 3 Management 2 Advertising 2 Computer Science 1 Public Relations/Communications 1 International Political Economy 1 Chinese 1 Mathematics 1 Education 1 Asian Studies But lets recruit geographers, engineers, physicists, ecologists…

73 Our Three Words Voluntarily taking responsibility for, and action on behalf of, a community to which you belong Citizenship

74 Our Three Words Naming oneself responsible for resolving a problem, even while knowing our own incapacity and unworthiness Citizenship Leadership

75 Our Three Words A way of organizing work that acknowledges collective responsibility for a singular condition Citizenship Leadership Collaboration

76 The world is more wicked than our disciplines Hunger is a mathematical problem Urban planning is a physics problem Community development is a chemistry problem Climate relocation is an engineering problem

77 None of us alone can do the work that wicked problems demand.

78 But as one among many…

79 One Among Many: STEM-work as a Basis for Citizenship Herb Childress Boston Architectural College


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